Private Property Sanitary Sewer Backup Reduction Grant Program
The City of Willoughby offers a program for certain owners of single and two-family homes who may be eligible to receive a financial grant, for improvements to aid in the reduction of risk of a sanitary sewer backup.
Eligibility details and a grant application are available below. The signed application and supporting documentation can be mailed or dropped off at the Service Department at City Hall, Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Eligibility and Program Requirements
- Certain owners of single family and two-family dwellings are eligible to receive a financial grant in the amount of seventy-five percent (75%) of the improvement with a maximum grant of One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500) to aid in the reduction of risk of a sanitary sewer backup in single family and two-family dwellings.
- Applications for a grant must be made by the property owner on a form provided by the City. The owner shall be responsible for compliance with the program requirements and completion of any funded improvement.
- Grant awards shall be processed in the order in which they are received. The total amount of the grants awarded will not exceed the total amount of funds appropriated by the Council of the City of Willoughby.
- Owners of single-family and two-family dwellings within the City of Willoughby that are connected to the City of Willoughby sanitary sewer system are eligible for participation.
- Eligible properties include those determined by the city to be “at risk.” At-risk properties are those meeting one of the following criteria: 1) The property has experienced a sanitary sewer backup since February 28, 2011. 2) The backup is unrelated to a failure of the owner’s private sanitary system. Verification will be determined by the City through documentation of such an event being reported to the City or documentation of an insurance claim, restoration costs incurred, or other information acceptable to the City. 3) There is less than three feet of vertical separation from the lowest sanitary sewer connection in the structure and the top of the sanitary sewer main serving the structure at the point where the private sanitary lateral is likely connected. 4) The property meets the criteria contained above in this paragraph and the owner has made an eligible improvement since February 29, 2011, and seeks reimbursement for such improvement. The City Engineer, or his designee, shall verify all elevations. All grants must be approved by the Service Director.
- In addition, to be eligible for City funding the following conditions must be met: 1) the structure must be legally connected to the City of Willoughby sanitary sewer collection system. 2) The owner must agree to allow reasonable testing (such as smoke or dye introduction) to make such a determination. 3) Any connections, such as downspouts or sump pumps, found to be connected into the sanitary system shall be immediately disconnected and rerouted to the appropriate outlet. Downspouts must be terminated to downspout splash blocks; 4) the owner and contractor agree improvements shall comply with all applicable local and state statutes and ordinances, and building rules and regulations, and the contractor shall obtain all required permits; 5) the property owner shall agree to allow the City of Willoughby Service Department to televise the sanitary lateral from the structure to the main prior to any work being commenced. If any deficiencies, obstructions or defects in the line are observed, the property owner agrees to remedy such defects consistent with rules and regulations that exist at the time of grant application.
- Eligible work includes: a) the elimination of basement connections; b) the installation of backflow prevention or (backwater) check valves, floor drain plugs, floor drain float plugs, or standpipes; c) conversion to overhead or high-wall plumbing; or other improvements approved by the City Engineer and Chief Building Inspector that will prevent sanitary sewage from entering the dwelling through the dwelling’s fixtures or sanitary drain connections to the public sanitary sewer system. d) Restoration work necessary as a direct result of these repairs. Restoration work does not include wall or floor coverings, replacement of appliances or other private property, and cleaning or maintenance of the sanitary sewer service line. All properties, regardless of changes in ownership or project cost, shall be eligible for only one grant.
- Eligible applicants must obtain at least three quotes from licensed private contractors registered to perform work within the City of Willoughby. Each quote must clearly reflect the work to be performed and how the proposed improvement will prevent or reduce the likelihood of sanitary backups into the dwelling. The City Engineer, or his designee, must inspect the home prior to any work and verify the necessity of the work and that such improvement satisfies program requirements. Permits must be obtained by a contractor registered with the City of Willoughby for any and all work performed. Permit fees for eligible improvements under this program shall be waived.
- The lowest of the three (or more) quotes obtained by the Owner shall be the basis for reimbursement as outlined in paragraph 1. The Owner is not obligated to hire the contractor with the lowest quote. The City shall provide the grant for approved improvements upon completion of the work. Completion shall be defined as passing final inspection and finishing any related restoration work to the satisfaction of the City. The City will either reimburse the owner upon proof of payment to the Contractor for such improvement or pay the contractor directly upon completion. In either case, the applicant understands the work to be performed represents a contract between the property owner and contractor, and the City is not liable for system failures, future claims related to unacceptable workmanship, or any damage resulting from sanitary sewer backup or flooding, or any claims of any nature regarding the work of the contractor.
- By acceptance of the grant, applicants acknowledge that participation in the Private Property Sanitary Sewer Backup Reduction Grant Program is voluntary and any work performed pursuant to this program does not guarantee the elimination of all risk of sanitary sewer backups. The City encourages regular and proper maintenance of any and all systems installed to prevent sanitary sewer backups. However, the City accepts no responsibility for property damage resulting from future sanitary sewer backups.